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Java-island


Woningen Christiaanse (l en r) en Soeters (m). Completely different from KNSM-island was Sjoerd Soeters’ urban design  for Java-island. Soeters preferred a newly developed district, but at the same time fitting in the Amsterdam tradition. He applied the principles of the famous Amsterdam canal district: differentiation and unity. Every apartment there is more or less the same and at the same time a little different from the next one.

 

So he invited a great number of architects resulting in designs for appartment buildings with enormous variation. Soeters was also fascinated by the phenomenon of height differences in Amsterdam, originating from the numerous small archbridges over the canals. So he cut the long island into 4 pieces and had four narrow canals digged, which of course needed a number of bridges - from big for through traffic to very small ones for pedestrians and bicyclists. Despite scepticism from the cultural establishment, with his urban design Soeters created a modern look alike of old Amsterdam with the 'sense' of the canal district. And with all variation still maintaing an amazingly unified street facade. Java-island got widespread admiration.  

    

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Portal of Amsterdam's Eastern Docklands. © Visual Text, Amsterdam.